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Full text of "Memorandum by the serbian socialis party upon the conditions in occupied Serbia"

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MEIiGRAiroUII 

BY THE SERBIAN SOCIALIST PARTY 
UPON THE CONDITIONS IM OCCUPIED SERBIA 

PRESENTED TO THE 
RUSSO-HOLLANDO- SCANDINAVIAN COMMITTEE 
IN STOCKHOLM 

WITH A PREFACE BY 



CAMILLE HUYSMNS . 



SECRETARY OF THE INTERNATIONAL SOCIALIST BUREAU 



Issued Toy the Serbian Press Bureau, 931 Southern Bldg., 
Washington, D. C. 






em 

#&v n ists 



,__^ . 931 Southern Building, 

"7 ' Washington, D. C;, 

-c May, 1918. 



The following appeal is signed by two eye-witnesses of 
the infamous acts of the Austro-Bulgarians in the occupied 
territory of Serbia. The first of these, Dushan Popovitch, 
permanent secretary of the Serbian Socialist party, has not 
'left Serbia and since the evacuation of 1915, he was able 
to see, on the spot, all that the invaders have done to ex- 
terminate an entire people. The second, Katalerovitch, is 
a deputy of the Socialist party. He took part in the retreat 
through Albania but after arriving in Switzerland he decided 
to return to Serbia. The Austro-IIungarian Legation at Berne 
accorded him every facility and in the month of June, 1916, 
he left for Kraguevatz in Serbia. M. Ke.tzlerovitch is a 
Serbian "Zimmerv;aldian" and before returning to Serbia he had 
violently attacked the Serbian Government and Parliament, de- 
manding an immediate peace. The Wolff Agency hastened to re- 
produce their attacks and exploit them against Serbia. M, 
Katzlerovitch is therefore a witness particularly qualified 
to tell the truth regarding the horrors of the Austro-Bulgar- 
ian regime. 

"Messrs. Popovitch and Katzlerovitch went from Serbia to' 
Stockholm for the Socialist conference. The Central Powers 
believed that the two 'Serbian socialists would play the game 
of the internationalists and that is why they permitted them 

to go to Stockholm. There the Serbian delegates, once they 
had escaped- from the Austro -Germans, drew up this appeal to 
the civilized world, to protest against the regime of exter- 
mination practised in Serbia. They handed it in the month of 
November to M. Camille Huysmans, who, in making it public, 
thus described it in his introduction: "It is not a work of 
hate; it is a cry of distress." 

In view of the documentary value of this memorandum, we 
publish it in its full form, regardless of the fact that we 
do not share the political ideas expressed on this occasion 
by the Serbian Socialist Party. As to the behavior of the 
German troops in Serbia, described by Messrs. Popovitch and 
Katzlerovitch as having been less barbarous than the Bulgar- 
ian and the Austro -Hungarian, we make a point of issuing 
herewith an account of the German military expedition in 
Serbia by Oskar Maurus Fontana, a German writer and a Reserve 
Officer who accoiEpanied the German army to Serbia. 

SERBIAN PRESS BUREAU, 
Voyslav M. Yovembvitcil:! 



PREFACE. 

The war has -uade three martyr nations: the Belgians, 
the Serbs a^no. the Arruenians of Turt'ey. 

Ger.uany has .„artyred Belgiurr. ; Austria-IIur.gary and Bul- 
g&.ria have -iartyred Serbia. 

Turkey has ..-iar tyred Ariuenia. 

In all three countries tos agvressor has attacked an in- 
offensive and defenceless population. 

In Belgiuiu he has put to the sword hundreds of unar.isd 
iucn, women and childrea. 

In Serbia, he has been even inore pitiless. He has claim- 
ed his victiras by the thousand. 

In Armenia, his bestialty has knov;n no bounds. He has 
killed v;ith Sadie fury. 

B.ilgium has lost ;-)any civilians and will lose yet more 
under a regime of insufficient feeding and unendurable op- 
pression. 

Serbia has lost practically the help o£ her population, 
and unless im...ediate help is forthcoming, men, women and chil- 
dren will die like flies. 

Armenia, alas, can.".ot count the number of her viccimis. 
Vi/ill she ever after the War be able to make a list of those 
■i/Vho survived and v;c;re reduced to slavery? 

The methods of murder and destruction have been applied 
v;ith greater brutality and shamelessness in proportion as one 
neared the East, v;here human life is held comparatively cheap. 

The objects of the aggressor were not the same in ee.ch 
case . 

The generous Germany of Luther certc.inly did not desire 
to exterminate the Belgians. To begin with, the latter are 
too numerous.' But she wanted to punish them for their unex- 
pected resistance. She v;as not a secular enemy. But she had 
recourse to blood letting in order to terrorize the vanquish- 
ed and to teach them docility for the future. 

Catholic Austria has done nothing but carry on her tra- 
ditional policy, . Her aggression of yesterday v;8s not acci- 
dental. During the whole of the ISth Century, she has never 
ceased to attack a young end gallant people, simply because 



-2- 

it is conscious of its nationaJ strength. And the slaugh- 
ter was compassed with the clear purpose of total destruc- 
tion. In the Imperial Ari-iy, it -./as the Ser'os of Austria 
who ^/ere al'vays sent for preference into ths fire, because 
one wanted to get rid of thern - e.nd the Seros of Serbia have 
been starved or hanged, interned or put in chains i/ith cy- 
nically refined cruelty. 

And the kindred Bulgars belonging to the ruling circles 
have helped the Austrians in this uonstrcus taski They de- 
sired to be revenged for pa,st defeats and they have re;uain- 
ed deaf to the voice of the blood. 

The Sons of the Prophet pursued an indenticc.l air:.. 
They, too desired the exter.r.ine.tion of a people. And, v;e 
must £,di^it it, they have accorriplished it conscientiously, 
like experienced scavengers. They have spared nothing. They 
have considered neither a,ge nor sex. They have made a clean 
sweep. They hr.ve carried out Sultan Selia's command to the 
letter. To violence to the nen they have adied bestiality 
to wou-sn amd even to children. And the Christians of Ger- 
•r:.any have watched unuioved, this slaugiiter of the Christians 
of Aritenia. 

While attacking the huiua,n beings the invador has not 
forgotten inanimate objects- He has sought to ruin the vic- 




H 

:y ne 
deportation of Ic-bour. 

One would think that the General Eecdquarters of the 
Turks, Austrians and Ger:v:c.n3 were acting by agreement. 

And how have they justified these abominations? 

In Balgiuiii, they invented the legend of the franc- 
fir eurs. 

In Armenia, they invented the legend of conspiro-cies. 

In Serbia, the Austrians invented nothing. They have 
too much imagination to delight in the clumsy pseudo- 
scientific imaginations of the German Government. Since the 
days of the Agram trial they have acquired too much exp_er- 
ience to re-edit a subterfuge v/hich brought upon thev:. tne^ 
moral censure of the whole of Europe. They have acted boldly, 
without hypocrisy and, tc.king it all rounds, this attitude 
strikes us as being the most decent. They have the courage of 
their crii:.es. 



I do not irean to hold the peoples of GerrLa.ny, of Aus- 
tria-Hungary, of Bulgaria and Turkey responsible for all 
this. I know what protests have rung through the Parlia- 
ments of Berlin, of Vienna, of Budapest and Sofia. I an 
convinced that thousands of I'lussulruans condemn the policy 
of the Young Turks, and if proof is required I need only- 
quote the touching pamphlet by Fayez El-Gosein, a Bedouin 
of Hauran. But what matters is that the Socialists, at 
least, of the Central Empires, should knovy and shou ld act . 
And th?4t is why my Serbian and American comrades have judged 
it useful to do as we have done in Belgium. To what is left 
of the civilized world they denounce wha,t has been done and 
is being done and they appeal at least to the solidarity of 
thou who lay claim to spare their ideals of humanity and 
justice. 

And if they are. told in reply that also on the other 
side of the barricade there are deplorable conditions. If 
they are told in reply, as I have already been told, that 
prisoners have been ill-treated elsewhere, v/e shall declare 
very clearly, that the Socialist protest must regard the 
misdeeds of one side as v;ell as the crimes of the other. ^As 
for me, I refuse to admit the axiom: "Krieg ist Xrieg", "War 
is VJ'ar". This phrase is nothing but a covert form of moral 
cov/ardice. 

The Socialists have no right to take no interest in the 
fate of other human beings. 

For this reason I thank my friends Popovitch, Secretary 
of the Serbian Socialist Party, and Katzlerovitch, Deputy in 
the Skupshtina, for having written this pamphlet, which is 
addressed to public opinion, ^vithout distinction. 

It is not a work of ha.te, 
It is a cry of distress! 

Stockholm, December 10th, 1S17 . 

CAMILLE HUYSL-IAWS, 

« - 

Secretary of the International 
Socialist Bureau. 



M E M R A N D U M 
By the Serbian Socialist Party 
Upon the Situation in Occupied Serbia, 
Presented to the 
Russo-Hollando -Scandinavian Committee . 



Opinions as to the culpability of Serbia in the present 
war are divided according to TOether tae nolders of these 
opinions belong to one or the other of the two belligerent 
and enemy camps. But v/hat is past all discussion for both 
parties is tha,t Serbia is one of the most sorely-tried vic- 
toms of the world war. The burden of tne war as it has fal- 
len upon this small and weak country is so crusning and so 
bloody that there is no longer any equitable proportion be- 
tween crime and punishment, even if we assume tnat Serbia 
had committed the gravest faults. Still less can one take 
up tnis view if one takes into account txiat during tne wnole 
of last century the Serbian nation - an abstraction construct- 
ed of secondary factors and responsibilities in tne third de- 
gree - was in a state of legitimate defence a^^ainst txie bru- 
tal policy of conquest on the part a great reactionary neign -- 
bouring State, namiely Austria. 

The wnole world is more or less aware of tne great dis- 
tress into which Serbia nas been plunged by the war, and of 
the sacrifices entailed upon her by the latter, But vvhat is 
known of it is very superficial and incomplete . Tne object 
of our memorandum is to complete this general information by 
facts and data collected in occupied Serbia, in order to show 
the pressing need of speedy and efficacious help, both mater- 
ial and moral for this country cut off from all tne world and 
forsaken by it . 



On trie Eve of the Occupation and during the 

Catastropne . 

Serbia had already suffered great losses since the first 
year of the war. During the very first months of the war she 
had to repel two great Austrian offensives, one in September 
and one in November, 191^. Twice the existence of Serbia hung 
only by a tnread and twice she parried the mortal blov;, But 
these events entailed enormous losses as .veil among trie sol- 
diers as among tiie civil population. Appalled by the horrors 



-5- 
of T,h3 first Austro--Hun£:arian invasion in the neighbournooc:. 
of the town of Shabatz and in order to esctpe from the enemy 
troops v^hich vj-ere steadily venturing further, Serbian fami- 
lies were compelled to fly wholesale at an unfavourable sea- 
son, into the interior of the country. 

This second invasion was followed by a terrible epidemic 
which raged all winter and throughout the Spring of 1915' 
Hundreds'^of thousanas of men (including 1^0 doctors) perished 
principally of typhus. Tne result was tnat already in June, 
1915, the total number of war victims reached tne figure of 
500,000, 

Then came in October, I915, the tnird invasion under 
Mackensen,^ then the Bulgarian attack in tne flank. These 
events were follov;ed 'oj the migration of a vvnole people - 
women, children and old men - across tne Albanian mountains 
which had hitherto known no travellers but entnusiastic ex- 
plorers or blase adventuiers wlno no longer set any value 
upon their life of boredom,. Tnis migration ^^■d.s made on foot, 
through the terrific frosts of winter and autumn in the months 
of November and December, Of 39,000 boys between IR and IS 
years of age, taken away by tne commanders of the Serbian 
army, 31,000 perished in Albania of cold and hunger., not to 
speak of the considerable number of children, women, old men 
and soldiers who succumbed tnere . In Corfu^ cholera lay in 
wait for the famished and mortally exhausted soldiers. The 
total ntimber of Serbian victims reached the figure of .300,000 
and even of 1,000,000 according to the opinion of iirell in- 
formed persons . This v;as already almost o ne -fourth of the 
total p opgl ati cn of Serbia according to the statistics estab- 
lished after the" peace of Bucharest. The general statistics 
included a considerable number of Albanians and Turks, vrhich 
means that the rate of miortaiity among the Serb population 
proper was even far greater. As for the Serbia that was in 
existence before the Balkan wars and forms in every respect 
the neucleus of the Serb nation^, one may say without exagger- 
ation that pretty well one-half of her pcpalation had perished. 

Nor should it be forgotten tnat tne fs^te of the Serbs 
living Austria-Hungary .faring the war has been no better. The 
policy of the ruling classes of Austria-Hungary nas been to 
solve the Serbian Austrian during t^ie \Tar quite simply by ex- 
terminating as many Serbs as possible. Tae soldiers of Bosnia, 
Herzegovina, Dalmatia, those from tne old military frontier 
of Lika, from Croatia, from Slavonia, tne Syrmia, Baohka and 
the Banat of Temesvar - all of tnem. Serbo-Croat lands - were 
sent where tne lignting was most dangerous, while a reglmie. . 
of prison, the gibbet and famine were applied at home to 
the rest of tne popula.tion. One need only read, for instance, 
the speech delivered by tne Croat deputy Guide Hreljanovich 



-o- 



a favir months ago in fcrie ?Iun^arian Farliti-rnsnt , concernin^^ ta3 
bcirbarity prevailing in Bosnia-Herzegovina. T..13 epeec;., . 
as also tlie most recent one t-y Dr. Antun TresiGii--?aviohitch, 
in the Austrian Reichsrat, Octohex 17; 191?) contains the 
most horrifying details. It .vas received in silence by the 
Hungarian chamber, '.''e v;ill not dwell upon t..is further. 
These facts lie outside our iurisdiction. ''"e leave it to 
the Austro-Hungarian Social Democracy to fight this barbar- 
ous Government"^ v;hose aim is to prevent all development 
of the Serb pecole and to destroy its national conscious- 
ness. We TJill merely state t;.e follov/ing. The Serbo-Croat 
nation v;hich numbered more than ten million souls and whose 
annual increase amounted to 100,000, has lost so many of its 
members during this "\"ar of liberation" that it cannot hope 
to reach its old figure before t.iirty years after the war. 



The Occupation. 

When in the Autum.n of I915, t..e conquerors crossed tne 
Save, the Danube and tne Timok, all Serbia -..'as as it were 
divided into t.vo. One part preoented ti^e melanc.ioly pic- 
ture of a graveyard and t-^e otxxer t.ict of a nospital. Tne 
invaders were no longer faced by a redoubtable adversary 
whose resistance nad'to be broken, but by a sorely stricken 
country which according to tue most elementary humanitarian 
principles had a claim to be treated \vitn consideration. 

It is true tnat Mackensen within tr^e first days of xxis 
entry into the country issued a solemn proclamation in wliich 
he invited the entire civil population to return quickly 
to its homes and resume its ordinary occupations, because - 
thus it v;as assured by tne famous General - the war would 
not be waged against the peaceful population but against 
armed and fighting forces. But these were only empty words. 
Every Government of Occupation in Serbia has been nothing 
but a permanent war upon the peaceful population. And more- 
over it has not been a government of occupation at all bu^ 
rather a punitive expedition on the part of Austria- Hun gary 
and still more on that of Bu lgaria, and this is the word 
which m.ost correctly and most ccmxjletely defines the char- 
acter of the Austro-Hungarian and Bularian domination in Ser- 
bia. Serbia's enem.ies liave felt from the very first, instinc- 
tively, that this country v^rould not remain permanently in 
their possession. Therefore they made up their mdnds to 
render Serbia altogether incapable of carrying on her exist- 
ence . Unfortunately they have already partially accomplished 
this task. It is therefore the duty of tue civilized world 
to prevent them from carrying out their infamous purpose to 
the end. 



-7- 
P&,8 G-.j.? s of 'che Ge.rn ia.n 'i' loops, 

It v;as the G3?::;.an army wliicii diiring its march through 
Serbia, in October, November and Decembsr of 19-- ^'^ furnished 
the precedent for this horrible pjLicy, These troops did 
not content themselves v;ith the forn'iidable bo'.it;y represented 
by the vast proper-cy of the State abandoned every/ifhere in 
the greatest disorder and ^'/hioh, a,ocording to the statements 
of the German officers could only be compared with the booty 
they reaped in Russia after the break through at Gorlicz . 
Besides this, the Serbian people vras compelled to entertain 
gratuitously and for seveial months these countless German 
legions, for vifhomthe Balkans vvere merely a highroad on their 
conquering advance towards Asia. Minor. The poor Serbian was 
compelled out of his humble mea-ns to support the grandic-^e 
plans of the German imperialists and to take part in tne real- 
ization of their aims. 

All that Was necessa.ry for the army p~nd very often much 
that Was not, was so to say snatched out of tne mounts of the 
population consisting mainly of women ana children, and that 
without any compunction or compensation. It is trua txiat 
sometimes they were given requisition tickets in exchange, 
but this was done very rarely and a-lways in some non-valid 
form, It happened for instance tnat poor ignort^nt peasants, 
viThose last covir nad been taken were found in possession of 
requisition tickets bearing tne following le.^end in German: 
"Peter Karageo rs^e vitca mu st pay" etc. But waat is worse is 
that in most cases tne proper'cy of the public was ^sstroyed 
without any necessity, out of pure spite. It v7ould be easy 
to quote countless instances of tnis perverse and purpose- 
less rage for destruction on the part of the German troops 
with regard to tne property of the peasants, including cases 
which fall within the scope of camp humour, but wnich really 
cost the poor population too dear, I'le think it, hov/ever, 
our duty to declare that on this occasion the C-erman troops, 
although they did not in tne lea-st respect the property of 
the people, never showed themselves barbarous towards the 
population itself, 'fe do not know of a single case in which 
the German soldiers were guilty of murder or outrage or 
of beating anybody. If there have been such cases, they 
v;ere eicceptional . 

After the German hurricane had ipa-ssed, came "normal" 
conditions. Order was established in Serbia. Let us see 
what manner of order it -was, and is. 



i 



-.8- 

A. The R e^-icn Qoo'-''TA^SkJ^':l-Jill°^LlJkz^!i^'!l'?jE^lZ- 

The economic liie of Serbia had b<?en ai&orgaruaed and 
subjected to strain even before t:-3 occupation, uore than has 
been the case in a.ny of the otner belligerent States, A far 
greater proportion of tae population was iKObili^ed in Serbia 
than anyj^here else. The uhcle country v;aa -cransf ortned into a 
veritable arned caap . After each enemy offensive and after 
each epidemic the last remnants of the male population in the 
to'.vns and villages v/as called up with the result that all the 
labour that was^ lef t consisted of women, children and old men, 
Belgrade, the economic and commercial centre of Seroia 'was 
evacuated and abandoned by the population during the first 
days of the mobilisation, because of its dangerous position 
from a military point of view. The same thing happened through- 
out the whole of Northern Serbia, the zone e::tending along the 
Save and the Danube as well as in V.'estern Serbia along the 
Drina. Thus during the very first days of the war, all econ- 
omic and cultural life was brought to a standstill in the rich- 
est regions of our country, because they vjere all of them trans- 
formed into theatres of war and deluged with blood. . 

At the moment of the catastrophe a great emigration took 
place there among that part of tne population wnich was best 
fitted for economic production. People left their homes, 
their workshops, their affairs and tneir fields en m.asse to 
go across Albania into txie unknown world. 

And what did the "beerers of culture" do under t.aese con- 
ditions? To the terrible burden of the war wnicn was already 
weighing heavily upon the population, they added the brutality, 
spoiliation and corruption of a regime of cccupa^tion and by 
their robbery brought all Serbia to economic ruin, What tne 
Germans failed to "put in order" during their snort stay of 
a few months, the Austrians and Hungarians nave tidied up to 
perfection within two years. 

Austria- Hungary loves above all things to lay stress upon 
the order-creating side of her activity in Serbia. The great 
neighbour state wished to prove to the whole \7orld that her 
historic mission consists in curing the "fierce and rebellious" 
Serb nation of "politics" and educating it into habits of econ- 
omy and industry, Nov; what has Austria-Hungary done during -Cae 
last two years in order to encourage and stimulate the develop- 
ment of the economic and productive resources of Serbia? 



More than I5 , O0'^_C2:riJAB^^jM^.II^^ AusJ-rianr. ^ 

The first act cf taa ..Gov3r-r.ient of cociTi,d.tion was to 
intern in Hungarv and Austria mo::s t:.dn I9O.OOO persons be- 
longincr to the orvil population for no re-.soxi ana wi-caout 
aS? Slitary or poli-oloal necessity. Hereby Serbiawas ae- 
prived of the last reserves in the way of labour wnicn v-ex. 
still at her dis-oosal and countless f amilxeo ^los txieai 
last support. Hundreds of tncusands 01 cnia.aren, wom.n <^na 
old men .vere tnus ocndeiTined to die of starvation. ^-^ evon 
■more horrible fate was in store for tnose wno v^^re _ inxdrn..a 
and the country v;as completely depuded of tae wotK^ng popu- 
lation wnich alone could have nelpod it to carry on. i^.^ 
was the first and the most jmportart ac. of tne laxxtary 
Government in its work of economic ana cultural •Tc.crgcvii.a" 
tion" of occupied Serbia. In the meantime "cnis policy of in- 
ternment is one of the cruellest chapters in tne vwc^e nis- 
tory of the Governm.ant of occupation and we will spealc 01 it 
presently in greater detail. 

Pil l aFce and Econom ic Ruinj_ 

i^fter having seised upon the last remnants of the c oun- 
try's 'resources in labour, tne Military Government proceeaea 
similarly to requisition and it does so still unremittingly - 
everything- indis-osnsable for produ.ction, alx maosrial^without 
which the future' development of productive resources is al- 
together impossible. Serbia's most important factories nave 
celsed to exist; the machinery has been dismantled ana trans- 
ported across the frontier, together with everytnmg in tne 
way of tools and raw material, V'orkshops v/ere similarly deal.. 
With. 

Most of tne shops were pillaged in the same way. The 
peasants are deprived of tne last of tneir carts, norses and 
oxen. These poor Tjeoplo are compelled to furnisn tne Mili- 
tary authorities regularly wita draught animals ana other 
cattle, even if they do not possess any. Tne re nave oeen 
cases in wnich small peasant farmers nave witnm eignteen 
months supplied the Austro-Hungarian aucnorities witn i it teen 
oxan. They mu.st find tiiat ozan even if txiey don't own onem 
at' all. Tn tnat case tney have to buy it at top prices or 
obtain it surreptitiously at the risk of their lives on tne ^ 
other side of the Morava in Bulgarian territory. It is tneir 
business to know where to find it but tne animals have to be 
furnished, otherwise the peasant or tne comraune in question 
are compelled to pay a fabulous fine. It goes without saying 
that in consequence of this policy, Serbia, wnicn is ricn m 



-10- 

cattle and produce irraoh live st.jok will soon ba drprivfto. of 
it altogether. Ths p?^\,3anr, ca.i no loviger fill liic fie-Z.d, the 
artisan returns to find an empty workshop and the working man 
has to go Uneir.plcyed because, of all tre factories , nothing 
is left but the v.'slls, ETon assuming that after this war of 
extermination, there would still be hands capable of v;ork in 
Serbia, the necessary material for work will be altogether 
lacking. This is the state of ''economic iMprcveraent" in Ser- 
bia under the regime of the Austro-Hungarian Government of 
occupation . 



Serbian Forests cu,t down to tne last tree 



The axe is likevifise a very important instrument in tne 
spreading of Austria-Eun£.ary culture. It is a favourable tool 
of the policy of occxipation and a most po»verful lever for en- 
couraging economic development in tna conquered acmain. The 
great predilection of Austrians and Hungaria-ns for timber is, 
by the way, alrea.dy known by tne example of Bosnj.a. Moreover 
there is nothing extraordinary or amazing in tnis, since for- 
ests represent the best source for acquiring wealth to parve- 
nue capitalists and adventurers in all colonies . It is pos- 
sible to guage the extent to wnicn one country bears tne cnar- 
acter of a colony towards another by tne figures of the export 
of timber and its by-products. In this respect, Bosnia stood 
remarkably nigh v>fith regard to Austria. Just novv it is Serbia's 
turn, ^hat is being done today in Serbia as regards her forests, 
which are such an essential resource of a country like ours, is 
not merely exaggerated exploitation but dov?n-right and complete 
devastation. Here is an example'. The Rogot forest, which was- 
owned by the State was a very beautiful old and dense forest 
in the very heart of Serbia. It was worth several millions. 
Today this forest no longer exists; it has been cut dovirn to the 
last tree. A wide and desolate expanse marks its form.er site. 
All the other forests of Serbia, some even larger and more val- 
uable, like those of Kopaonik, Tara and Rudnik^ have suffered 
the same fate , The sullen thud of the Austrian axe in the " 
depth of the ancient forests of Shumadia rings like the blow 
of a hammer upon a coffin. 

"Re quisitions . " 

And v;hile on the one hand the felling of timber proceeds 
apace, we have on the other nand the systematic and unintermit- 
tent expropriation of all tnat belongs to tne population. This 
goes by tne name of "requisition", Almost all tne proaucts of 



-li- 
the country even these which t-re indispensajle in evsry house- 
hold, m&tal utinB.J:;, ^tc. , ais rec^uisiticnec'. ur.cor_ta3 prs- 
tszt of S3rvir.7. nilitciry neeclc . And Ghcy are piid for at 
absurd rates l indsed, all this is Gnly a v,3?.l3d xoxrci of_ex- ^ 
propriation. The vdiole of the harvest is similarly requisi- 
tioned, '"heat is paid at the rate of [■)< Austrian crowns per 
100 kilogrammes. Dried prunes, one of Eerhia's most impor- 
tant er.port products, are paid for at the rate of 10 crovrns 
per 100 kgs . and that at a time /d^en the Croatian Government 
is supplying the municipality of Vienna, by contract, with 
the same kind of prunes at a rate of 50 cro-vns per 100 kgs. 
Brandy, too, is requisitioned at a rate of from '10 to 5^' 
crowns, to, be resold later on to the innkeepers at rates of 
from 200 to 250 crc.vns, and the superior qualities even at 
500 crowns per 100 litres. Oxen are paid for a.t 1,60 per 
kilogramme. And the peasant is not even entitled to be pre- 
sent v;hen his ox is .veighed '. This is the business of the 
officers and officials wno by reducina; tae weight^to be paid„ 
for by one-half or tnereaoouts, uake h. very good tiling out of 

it indeed. Most of the requisition tickets bear, generally 
speaking, a round number such as 100,150., 200 kgs., #hioh is 
already in itself a clear indication of this official robbery 
on a vast scale. Figs are bought for 1,50 '^o 2 crovi/ns per kg. 
v;hereas in Austria-Hungary they fetcn from 6 to 7 crowns. Ap- 
ples, another iraporta.nt export article, are paid for at txie rate 
of 25 to 4-0 crowns per 100 kg. to be resold at once for SO to 
100 crowns in Austria-Hungary. Nuts are requisitioned, like- 
wise potatoes, beans, fruit, vegeta.bles, eggs, - in one word, 
everythinfj; . 

Official robberies. 



An elaborately subtle system of fines pursues the sa.me 
object. They are not a penalty imposed in the general inter- 
est of the community in order to enforce compliance with pre- 
scribed regulations, but a fresh means of despoiling the peo- 
ple and helping the military and civil employers to get rich 
quick. 

Last summer, many inhabitants of Belgrade were compelled 
to pay fines ranging from 1000 to I5CO cro^^'/ns for having ex- 
ceeded the prescribed allowance of water by a few litres. Vil- 
lage administrations are sentenced for mere nothings or under 
perfectly ridiculous pretexts to pay fines of 2,000, 5,000 or 
5,000 gold ducats (between ^,^00 and 12,000 dollars). Even 
peasants have to pay their fines in golc. or in cash. The in- 
tention is obvious. The Serbian peasant is to be deprived of 



-13- 

the last grain of gold leit to him, pernc*.p&, ircin tno good, old 
times of the age of iDatr.l'-ironal co;umunism , Sonetimes t;)'^ au- 
thorities go so fa?? in tiiis avidity to obtain gold, that e„ g. 
they presumed one day to force tne safe of a vTe 11 -known mer- 
chant in Belgrade in order to seise the 2C00 "napoleons'' de- 
posited there and to reimburse him for tne same at tne rate of 
2o crowns apiece at a time when their value on tne market was 
70 crowns. And this is not an isolated case ', But let no one 
misapprehend our purpose , V.'e have no intention of bewailing 
the fate of the Capitalists, who have more tha,n one opportun- 
ity during tne war to recoup themselves for losses sustained 
by a tenfold larger gain. We merely wish to point out that 
if such proceedings are permitted against the well-to-do cit- 
izens of Belgrade^ the fate of the peasant in villages remote 
from the capital, the poor peasant handed over at discretion 
to the unlimited and tyrannical power of the local gendarme 
must be even more pitiful , 

As regards the forci b le deprec'iat.i_on_pf the rate o f ex - 
change for Serljian mon ey it is neither more nor less than rob- 
bery under arms. No sooner had Serbia been conquered than an 
order appeared directing under threat of the severest penal- 
ties, that the Serbian franc (dinar) was not to be worth more 
than half an Austrian crown. As the inhabitants possessed no 
other kind of money they were obliged to circulate the Ser- 
bian which passed in this vmy at an absurdly low rate into 
the hands of the Austrians, Germans and Eulgars , In this way, 
both the authorities and private persons could induDge in most 
lucrative speculation in Serbian money which, thanks to the 
high standard of the metal, is wortn twice as m.uch as Austrian 
money in the international market. 

Even today you can, in Austria, privately change 100 Ser- 
bian dinars for something over 120 Austris.n crowns. The loss 
caused in tnis way to the Serbian popula,tion, especially to 
the poorer people who cannot, like tue rich, afford to hold 
back their money until the most propitioxjs moment, is enor- 
mous and amounts to many m.illicns . Tne saddest part about 
this speculation is that tne poor women, children and old men, 
forsaken by all the Virorld - had nothing but their little sav- 
ings to fall back on and v^ere thus compelled to reduce by naif 
the small amount of food tney had so far been able to procure ■ 
All these refined methods of exploitation must obviously end 
by exhausting what is left of the wealth of the ccontry. In 
many cases moreover this exploitation is practised openly, 
brutally and in the most barefaced fashion, Especially during 
the earlier months of the occupation, it was the custom to 
force the doors of houses or shops belonging to absentee Ser- 
bian citizens, and to seize everything that happened to please 



-13- 

any officer, police agent or police spy that came along. _ 
Many privat4 dwellins;s ., espsc:.ally in Belgrade, v/sre looted 
in this way. Everything wa.s taken, from the linen ana the 
furniture to the :oianoG, which were generally sent across the 
Save as "war booty'' for the wives end mistreBses of tne Austro- 
Hunearian officers. The People ''s Hoxise, the property of our 
Party was not spared oy these robbers and murderes . During the 
first days of the oocuiDation, several articles were removed and 
many especiallv books, destroyed- Only four months ago tnese 
eentiemen presumeC, t;-; enter our People's House without any "by- 
your-leave" and to oa:c::v off everything thct was left, witnout 
leaving any requisiti:)^ tickets. Hereby cur Party, which is 
poor lost more than SO, 000 dinars in Belgrade alcne , Ve are 
by no means an:ciou£ t"? plead our own grievance in particular. 
T.d have merely quoted this instance as an illustration of the 
sad state of 'affairs in Serbia, From tne fact that such attacks 
,are permitted upon the property of a political organization, 
which as everybody knows, maintains international relations and 
enjoys, so to say, international protection, one may easily con- 
clude what sort of fate is reserved for the population which is 
protected by nobody. . 

Briefly, then, t he economic .tosses sustai ned by Serbia >. '. 
during the war -■ before and especially du;.-inR- t his disastrous 
occupation are so great that the restoration of the count ry 
cannot be considered anything but fictitious unless it is cul - 
minated by collective financ ia l assistance organi^.ed on gen- 
erous lines, over and abov 0:M_iLejKmsjt ijbut_ior^^ 

ical independence . This "financial assistance is the only means 
of retrieving the country from ruin and restoring it to its for- 
mer standard of existence. 



2j, T he Food P olicy... 

And what compensation does the Austro-~H;.ingar.ian Military 
Government offer the Serbian population in order to make amends 
for all its sufferings? After requisitioning everything does 
it at least guarantee the people the minimum necessary to sup- 
port life? 

Wot at all. On the contrary, everything is organized and 
calculated in such a way that tne population is doomed to die of 
starvation. Serbia is by nature a rich country wnicn can easily 
feed its population. But for the moment tnis country is split 
up into military and administrative districts vmich, as regards 
the exchange of foodstuffs are separated from eacn other by ver- 
itable Chinese walls. All exchange of foodstuffs between Mili- 
tary districts is strictly forbidden and it would be easier for 



-14- 

a camel to pass tiiroagh the eye of a neello faan for an egg 
to pass from one district into another in derb:...^ The Diot- 
rict Commanders dispose of unlimited powers as regards the 
distribution of foodstuffs in their districts and in this 
respect they are responsible to no one, not even upon their 
own Government. The result is that the v^hole indispcndable 
interchange of foodstuffs between t he various pai-ts of Serbia 
has become impossible and that the whole surplus produce of 
any one part of the country, which could and ought to be em- 
ployed to supply the needs of some other region is immediately 
exported to Austria-Hungary. Thus the authorities have ended 
by creating an artificial shortage of foodstuffs vmich Is 
then exported by the District Commanders themselves, by the 
Government officials and their civil agents, m the interests 
of the most shameless speculation. In this v/ay certain of- 
ficers and shady civilians grow richer from day to day while 
hundreds of thousands of Serbian women, children and old men 
lack the necessities of life and are in the grip of the most 
appalling famine. Austrian shops, or rather food cards are 
therefore tne only remaining resource of tne population.; but 
only too often one fails to get even tne quantity one is en- 
titled to by the card. This system, too, has become, a field 
for speculation. It is known for instance, that Austria-Hun- 
gary has never had any reason to complain of a salt snortage . 
Yet tnis has not kept the Serbian peasant from being left for 
months together without salt under the pretext tnat tnere 
was none. Although there was still plenty in tne shops. And 
while the peasants were being refused salt, Austrian agents, 
soldiers and non-commissioned officers, were selling that 
same salt, ostensibly surreptitiously, at the rate of S, 10 
and 12 crowns per kilogramme . Any one who knows tne impor- 
tance of salt for agriculture and especially for stock-rais- 
ing will readily understand why the peasants were ready to 
part with all their produce at ridiculous prices for the sake 
of obtaining a little salt. 

As for the bread ration, it is the same in Belgrade as in 
Austria (e.g. not equal to the bread ration in Hungary). In 
spite of this for months together the population of Belgrade 
received under the name of "flour" merely a special mixture 
which could neither be made into bread nor cooked, nor eaten 
and which produced much sickness among the population. As re- 
gards the interior of Serbia, there are places v;here the bread 
ration is even more misere.ble. Thus, last spring, the unfor- 
tunate peasants of Baina Bashta rece:lved only one kilogramme 
of maiz e per inhabitant du ring one wh o le month. It may be 
imagined from this, what ration they will receive this 'rinter 
ind next Spring. 



-15- 

STARVATION IN BE LGRADE . 

Tills food, (ox .Tcitriar starvt^tion) policy, is xaost elo- 
quently discernible in tne faces of the inhabita.nts >^f Bel- 
grade. In tiiis town it is absolutely impossible to buy any- 
thing no matter what. It is only exceptionally and at fabu- 
lous prices that one^Can obtain a little fat, eggs, potatoes 
or beans. One can also get a little meat ana tnat at prices 
which, compared to tnose ruling in Austria and Germany, are 
not even very high. But as the population almost through- 
out tne country is absolutely deprived of the means of earn- 
ing a livelihood, tnese prices are relatively high. In Bel- 
grade you see hundreds of people waiting outside the shop 
which sells meat. But as the ainount of this offal (feet, 
tripe, entrails, etc.) is very limited, it nas become such 
a delicacy that people consider themselves lucky if they suc- 
ceed in getting some once or tvTice a month. For the present 
population of 50^0^0, the municipality of Belgrade furnishes 
from 2,000 to 3^000 litres of milk during the summer sea- 
son and only a fevv' hundred litres in winter. Thus only per- 
sons who are seriously ill and quite young children receive 
a quarter of a litre of milk (half a pint) a day, and that 
only after many difficulties and most complicated procedure. 
Last spring - and spring is tne best season for vegetables - 
the '.weekly allowance was only 157 grammes of vegetables for 
every inhabitant. One really fails to see how these people 
manage to keep alive. Thousands of women, children and old 
mer roam desperately day and night along the high roads and 
through the surrounding, sometimes very distant villages, 
in order to procure a little food. Meantime these expedi- 
tions are severely forbidden. You can buy nothing in the 
villages, neither monopolized produce, nor anything else. 
An order has been publisned in Belgra,de v/nereby every v;oman 
caught in the act of buying food is sentenced not only to 
arrest but to be beaten with a stick. Tne food prices 
fijced by tne authorities are such txiat no peasant will fur- 
nish provisions at that price. That is precisely what is 
wanted by tne men in power. It is tney who go to tne vil- 
lages and buy up all tne previsions at tne fixed prices and 
export tnem to Austria. Their policy as regards food prices, 
instead of helping both consiomex and producer, is directed 
agciinst both and pursues only tne sole object of robbing 
and ruining tiie country, and that is vJhy Belgrade, the cen- 
tre of a ricn agricultirral country, tnere is greater dis- 
tress and famine than in Vienna. 

The desperate plight of the population of Belgrade de- 
termined Dr, Veljkovitch, Mayor of Belgrade, Mr. Peritch, 
Professor at the University and several others to submit a 



-16- 

.i:ien:orand.ur;: to Colonel Kerschnawi, Chief of Staff of the 
ililitary Goverr.r.-.ent . The rsquasts einbodied in this meno- 
randura v/ere very iriocieat. The petitioners requested in the 
first place the siraplif ication of the extremely lengthy 
and complicated procedure v/hich the inhabitants of Belgrade 
have to go through in order to obtain permission to travel 
into the interior and that this permission should not only 
be granted to a feiv privileged Gpeculators, but to all -vho 
stood in need of procuring a feu provisions. The Govern- 
ment was furtht-r b?s;r;ed to modify the policy of maximum 
prices. And finally the petitioners requested that the 
municipality ox Belgrade should itsjlf be permitted to 
purchase the fixed quantity of cattle to be slaughtered 
in order to prevent the military Intendance from speculat- 
ing in this article of food. The intendants sometimes sup- 
plied the municipality vxith animals the entrails of which 
weighed 43 kg. while the whole of the meat weighed 37 kg. 
This memorandum, however, struck the authorities as being 
an exceedingly suspicious document. First, iiayor Veljko- 
vitch was sumr/ioned to the police station where he was of- 
ficially questioned as to his real intentions. Then fol- 
lov/ed^ after a long interval, an interview \/ith Colonel 
Kerschna\tfi which was extremely brief and frigid. As a 
matter of fact, it v^as only Colonel Kerschnawi who spoke. 
He declared that the Memoreuidum was not correct in its 
statements, that the population did not suffer from a 
short£v.^e of food, tha.t e-g, his '.vife bought aD.l her pro- 
visions in Belgx-j.do, r^ i shcAxt any Cifficult^ an:, v btv olie.r.p- 
ly and he wound up by saying these matters did not concern 
the Municipality, but the Military Government. Upon this 
statement the interview came to an end. 

In order duly to appreciate these incidents \re must 
not forget that Mayor Veljkovitch is an ex-Iiinister and 
chief of a party v;hich is in opposition to Mr, Pa^shitch 
(Prime iviinister of Serbia) and not at all hostile to Aus- 
tria-Hungary, while I'lr . Peritch is a convinced Austrophil 
and generally knov;n as such. In 3pite of this they were 
both of them and especially Dr. Veljkovitch, so badly used , 
that the latter found himself obliged to tender his resig- 
nation. It goes without saying that the authorities stand 
even less on ceremony v:ith the Socialist rabble. One of 
our comrades, To'-rn Councillor Mika Spassoyevitch, presumed 
last year in very moderate terms to criticise this policy 
of starvation and to demand bread for the people. Although 
over 70 years of s. ge, he was at once arrested and interned 
in Hungary, 



-17- 

This intolerable situation is further aggravated by 
tha a.rcsi2ir.g Ociilou.^i.ess Ghown by the authoi'ities and the 
Austro-Hurigariaii batiks. As Serbia is today dsprived of 
all ecouoiiiio life, everybody in the country lives vjholly 
upon , uhat relief reaches hiin from abrooxl . People live 
upon ivhat they receive frori Switzerland and France, from 
thjir relations or friends, or frorr, charitable ixiissions. 
Nov; in this latter respect, Serbia has been overlooked by 
all the rt'orld. Tv/ice only, in 1916, did missions - one 
A;uerioan cuid one Swiss - coL.:e to distribute food and cloth- 
ing aiuong the -population of Belgrade. The lioney received 
fro'^ relations in Svjitaerland a:id Fre^nce is therefore the 
one vital resource of the Serbia::! population. The suu.s 
V7hich the feithers of faiuilies heive hitherto been able to 
send are very insignificant in co'uiparison to the needs of 
the population. Collectively, they only ai/ounted to about 
t-ienty million (francs) in tv;o years.' nevertheless, this 
3U.L-. represents a very great deal for :/.any far;iilio'), all the 
Tuore as 'chey receive no other help. In the lueantir-ie the 
Austro-Hungarian banks and authorities are so cruel o-nd so 
devoid of all conscience that they do not hesitate to delay 
the pay.uont of these suras for raonths together. There have 
been cases in v;hich buus despatched from Sv;it3srland or 
France in Septe.-.ber, 1S16 v;ere not paid out in Belgrade be- 
fore uarch or April, 1917 - after sii-c Licnths of speculation. 
It IS really superflous to explain once riore that the posi- 
tion of the population of Belgrade will be terrible this 
winter and next spring, if these ppor people are coiiipelled 
to live I'.'i thou t i Jon ey . 

So far they have, at any rate, ;i,anaged to exist, or 
rather to vegetate, painfully, \;ith terrible suffering ?.nd 
a vast phyijio logical deficit, the dangerous consequencesof 
v/hich T.v'ill not iJiake theiAselves felt until after the vjar . 
But for this winter and next spring, the population will be 
even more cruelly tried, because the liilitary Government suc- 
ceeded in organizing ci perfect systv^m for seizing this year's 
harvest (1917) to the last grain from the Serbian population. 
All, for positively all is at this moment exported, so that 
there is nothing left for the native population but to fold 
its hands and die of starvation. 

Help, as prompt and extensive as possible is urgently 
n eeded if this people for all that it is endovi^ed vjith great 
vitality is not to be do o med to die of starvation, under 
most terrible conditions. 



-18- 

5. TH E POLITICAL SITUATIOII . 

Logically enough, 'cha aconouuc misery of occuioied Ser- 
oia is ooaiplsted by political slavery. 

Of couroe arxy kind of public right is out of the ques- 
tion. Wo foriii of collective life is possible in Serbia at 
the moment. All organi2£i,tioas, including ^:rof essional, co- 
operative and even charitable associations are prohibited. 
Anyone daring to try to forra any kind of association v-zould 
be inuediately inteiDed, and perhaps subjected to an even 
more terrible fate Irjmediately upon his arrivcil, the first 
Military Governor of Serbia published an order rigorously 
prohibiting all politics in the country. It is not diffi- 
cult to imagine what a reactionary and military government 
would understcind under the- term of "politics" . There is 
only one printing office in Belgrade today, the one v;hich 
is run by the Military Governor General and publishes the 
"Beogradske Novine" (Belgrade Ilev/s). All private print- 
ing offices have been closed often haviiig been looted. 
Neither rr.achinery, nor any other ma'cerial is left: it is 
even forbidden to print menus. A printing press - accord- 
ing to the expression of the local authorities -,is equal 
to a.n enemy arsenal. If a Serb citizen i^exe to be so bold 
as to solicit permission to edit a paper, he v/ould at once 
be entered in the blacklist of the Government. It is for- 
bidden to make use of the Serbian alphabet in public traf- 
fic, including the post. Needless to add^ all political 
activity is prohibited, as it is even dangerous to say 
openly \vhat one thinks and even to have independent thoughts. 
Quite harmless humdrum citizens, ignorant peasants and 
even gossiping women run the risk - if their harmless and 
naive conversation is overheard and reported by spies - 
of being sent off to internment camps, to prison, or even 
the gallov/s. 

TERROR I Sl/l IN SERBIA . 

The most elementsi-ry ri£:hts of man, are not guaranteed 
in Serbia , In the villages, the gendarmes v7ield unlimited 
pov/er and lord it over everybody. Their u.ethods of pro- ■ 
cedure are an admirable reflection of the system applied 
by the Austro-Hungarian adm.inistration to the subject nat- 
ionalities. Espionage, denunciations, exactions of all 
kinds, theft and sometimes even murder, are typical of the 
behavior of the gendarmerie in the villages. In the towns 
these privileges are enjoyed by the army officers and non- 
comraissioned officers. In manv towns official notices are 
posted UP directing that the whole native population men . 



-13- 



wnn^n. c^hildren an d old_nea ^^y'^y^lio o vex their he a^M^ 

nfviopi-a UBi-ip- their horse v/xir/ps upox-?. reoels v;ho ic.il to 
Sompir't o'cl wi^h these orders. Indeed oudgellinsa have 
SecoS a v.eans of eduo.txon in which ^fi,%^^^f^J?-;^^^f f ^^^ ' 
civilizators take a special delight, Tnis penalty -s ap- 
plied on every occasion and under the ■u.ozz aosura pretexts. 
Two Belgrade college students -.-ho had been compelled by w.nt 
to become tram conductors, were eacn sentenced .o f °^J^^ 
75 blows with a stick for having railed to salu.e a ^suoaloern. 
The poor lads fainted three tiroes and each tine the oeatmg 
V7as recommencsed. After they had been subjec.ea .o this 
shameful punishment they were kfPt in prison for a mj^n.h 
and then interned in Hungary. In the prefecture of Police 
in Belgrade, a certain Lieutenant Wxedmann en^o^B animated 
power over the lives and liberties of all the mhacitants. 
It depends only upon his tyranny whether any given mnabi- 
t of Belgrade is arrested, cuffed, beaten w: tn a_s.xci:, 



tant of tiexg 



how. 



and above all, interned, which, as we shall preeertx/ 
is indirectly sentence of death. All Belgrade r.ae - and 
that often in the literal sen,^c. of the word - pacced through 
the hands of this gendarme, from ex-Ministers to tne num- 
blest day-laborer. There is soc-.rcely a person m Belgrade 
who has not had cause to complain of having been -ma.fGreaoed, 
insulted and outraged in his m-st saured fao-.ings by this 
Austrian Gessler v;ho behaves thus without any p^ausiole pre- 
text and without any offence on the part of those ^^lom he 
pe-^secutes. Serbia knows no personage more hateful tnan 
this tyrant - which circumstance has not preventf.d him from 
retaining his post ever since the beginning of the occupa- 
tion. I t is. th e r fiFore, not a case o f _.an_.exce.|jt2-on or an 
g.oniden-bal ri-dstake". bu t on the cont rary,.../c.hJ.^_;ra;rlb;^e_iji- 
rii;rj_r;-'ij3-; per sonifie s an en tir e svst^im. This fasnion of 
i^treation, the Serbian citizens, of reducing them to the 
level of mere cattle, to enslave them as completely as pos- 
sible and to let them constantly feel their degradation, 
constitutes the very essence of the Austro-Hungarian occu- 
pation in Serbia. The name o£. Lieutenant Wiedmann will 
dwell in the memories of future generations as the symbol 
incarr.ate of Austro-Hungarian "Kulturtraegerei" in Serbia. 

The courts exist not to pre^'ent all this robbing and 
tyranny, but to increase them. Fot o-a^ Austro-Hungarian 
officer accused of theft, e-zaction, outrage or murder, 
has ever been conviobed, alxhougii these crimes are of daily 
occurrence. It is even dangerous to lodge a ccrAplaint a- 
gainst an officer or an official- Anyone endea.voijng to 
defend his property, nis honour, or his life,, even in the 
rcost harmless vj'ay, is at once arrested, bea.ten, interned. 



-20- 

It v;ould. be easy to quote countless instances of such 
excesses. The arrests of perfectly inr.oceiit citizens and 
their being sentenced to incarceration amd even death is one 
of the most ordinary occurrences. The most iraportant aux- 
iliaries of ohe courts, and indeed of the whole adiainistra- 
tion in general, are secret agents, detectives and spies, 
recruited fron the least commendable and n^ost depraved of 
the Austro-Hungarian and Serbian populations. It is upon 
their depositions and reports that the property, liberty, 
honour and life of every Serbian citizen are wholly depend- 
ent. Tlie courts only exist in order to lend a pseudo-legal 
sanction to the decisions of these creatures, who froni a 
privileged class in Austria-Hungary and enjqy great social 
consideration. The most trivial denunciation can cast a 
r,ian into prison, and death sentences are pronounced by the 
court with truly cri;ninal unconcern. Thus 55 peasants, be - 
sides the schoolmasters. Glishitch vjere shot or hanged and 
250 men and women were sentenced to incarceration this year 
in the village of Raraatya Cin the district of Gruzha), :nerely 
because some old and disused arms and old fowling pieces had 
been found in the village. As for individual death sentences 
pronounced by the courts or even by the gendarvaes and car- 
ried out on the spot, they are quite ordinary occurrences. 
iMany absolutely guiltless hostages have been done to death 
in this way. One is oven tempted to think that these gen- 
tlemen take a special pleasure in the carrying out of those 
death penalties. In many towns thti men are hanged and on 
one occasion this was even done virith a pregnant woman ~ 
with much ceremony in the market place, where the bodies 
are sometimes left hanging for several days. And this 
they call educating a savage people ! Vi/hen the Serbian 
people will have risen to the enviable ethic and aesthetic 
heights of the Austro-Hungarian officers and begin to take ■ 
pleasure in these compalistic exhibitions and patronize 
them, the former will presumably have become capable of 
understanding the lofty culture of the latter. 

4 . " IKTERNiiiSHT CAllPS'.' 

The greatest crime comiaitted by the Austro-Hungarian 
and Bulgarian Governments of occupation is the internment 
of perfectly inoffensive and peaceful citizens and their 
wholesale internment. All we hc^ve so far drawn attention 
to, was only massacre in do-tail. As regards the internments . 
they are nothing but wholesale massacre . Merely from the 
region occupied by Austria-Hungary, more than 150.000 Serbian 
subjects have been interned, including several thousands of 
pld men of over 60 years of age, several thpusand vjomen and 
even children from 8 to 15 years ! In giving this truly ap- 



-21- 

palling figure, v;e are not taxing into considsration tha 
150,000 Serbian soldiers, prisoners of v;ar who share the 
J ate of their interned brothers in Auctria and Hungary. 

We should require a whole book v;ith appalling illus- 
trcitiony if vce v/anted to depict the position and existence 
of these raartyrs, Vfe must abstain from doing so for the mo- 
ment. We will confine ourselves to the following statement. 
The fact of being internet in Austria-Hungary or in Bulgaria 
really ar^ounts to being indirectly sentenced %o death . A- 
bout thirty per cent of these poor wretches have died up to 
the present i The rest are dragging out a miserable exist- 
ence amid infini-ce hardships and unspeakable suffering while 
waiting for inevitable death. In u;any concentration camps 
containing on an average several thousand interned persons, 
ten, twenty, and thirty deaths a day are the rule. But in 
soLie cases especially in Hungary there have been as many as 
200 and 300 deaths a day. There are concentration camps 
where one-half of the inmates have already died. This is 
not ov^ing to so'aie epidemic which claius innumerable victims. 
They die of hunger and cold . There you may observe in truly 
typical aiid only too frequent ca^es, how a perfectly sound 
organieim ts gradually reduced to die by hunger. During the 
first state the organism, although having daily to submit 
to a huge deficit in nutrition, still lives upon its former 
reserves. Then comes the second stage, that of a sensation 
of atrocious animal irresistible hunger. The wretched suf - 
ferers devour the grass they find along the hedges, although 
this kind of food is strictly forbidden. They spend whole 
days in turning over refuse heaps and eat everything more 
or less resembling food. Their guards are powerless to re- 
strain them, even with the bayonet. This state is follov^ed , 
by the third and last, the period of exhaustion and apathy. 
The sufferer becoraes completely indifferent. The best food 
no longer tempts him in this state of prostration and he no 
longer cares for life. Fully conscious, calm and impassible 
he waits for the approach of his last hour. l^Jhen he feels 
it coming he lies dovm, covers' himself up c:nd dies without 
uttering a word. Those around him watch him with equal in- 
difference, well knoiTing that their own fate will be the 
same as that of their comrade, and that it will overtake 
them ere long. In countless oases the autopsy has revealed 
the fact that the organi . sm was in ideal health, but that 
there was not one grain of fat in the whole body . 

Even those who still survive must be looked upon as 
half -dead already. These poor wretches are doomed to die 
within a year or two after the war. Only a very small num- 
ber endowed with exceptionally vigorous constitutions will 



-23- 

be able to go on living and working after the via,!. The hor- 
rible fate of those interned is well known to everybody in 
Serbia, even to the very children. And so every man sen- 
tenced to internriient upon the denunciation of some spy, is 
followed by his distracted family, weeping and wailing as 
one does in following the dead. It is, ther-^fore, not in 
the least surprising or incomprehensible that people are 
terrified ci.t the prospect of being interned. But, v/hen. 
last year, a certain number of peasants from the district 
of Grusha, who were sentenced to internment by the military 
authorities, presuraed to hide and failed to respond to the 
first summons of the authorities, all these poor people, 
about forty in number, were sum ma rily shot without further 
formality. Their houses were burnt down^ all their proper- 
ty destroyed and their families were interned. 

We knov; very well that the civil population of Austria 
as well as her army, suffers likewise from lack of food and 
that it is not possible to give to the interned Serbs v^hat 
others have to go short of. But this does not explain gra- 
tuitous cruelty. Thus, e.g. the money which the interned 
Serbs receive from their relations, either from home, or from 
France or &.7itzerland, is speculated upon in a truly crimi- 
nal fashion in the concentration camps. There is a rule, 
in accordance with v;hich, regardless of the amount of the 
sum sent, only a very small proportion of it, from 30 to 50 
crovms a month, is paid over to the interned recipient. The 
rest of the money is left at the disposal of tho officers 
and officials to employ in all manner of speculation's. Hov,' 
the inmate of an internment camp requires at lee-ot a few 
hundred crovirns a month in order to supplement the wretched 
food he receives in the camp -.vith such food as he can ob- 
tain at exorbitant prices through intermediary agents from 
the neighboring villages. For these interned people, money 
means neither more now nor less than life. And so, by de- 
priving these people of the money due to them, the concen- 
tration camp authorities dep rive them, in fact of their lives . 
This criminal playing v;ith human life constitutes an essen- 
tial part of the policy of every conqueror. Thus several 
Austro-Hungariaji doctors attached to these camps declined 
to see mor.3 than ten patients a day at a time when the death 
rate in the camps was from 20 to 50 a clay. 

But the m.osl importari'.-. point of all is that these poor 
people ought not to be interned at all. There is no kind 
of military necessity for it. During the occupation by the 
enemy armies, for a ^'7hole year and half there W3.s not a 
shadow of trouble, not an attempt at revolt in the whole 
country. This fact need not be construed as a compliment 
to the Government of occupation or as a proof of the exist- 
ence of enviable conditions in Serbia. It simply proves 
that the Serbian people is so exhausted with suffering that 
it can only think of rest. In spite of this the Austrian 



Military Governiuent has v;ithout any 'plausible reason interned 
more than 150,000 inoffensive Serbs including thousands of 
childreii, v;orien and old men over sixty years of age. By 
these intemiiients, the fauiilies of the poor v/retches and 
likewise the v;hole of the country which was thereby depriv- 
ed of its last reserves of labour, were dooi'ied to starve. 
And it was only after all these intern.vients and other cruel 
provoco-tions, c;,s the consequence of ill-trer-tacent and not 
as a preliminary act which raight have justified it, that 
the revolt in Southern Serbia ensued in March, 1S17. 

What is the true reason for these internn-ents without 
number. They are partly explained by the stupidity of the 
Austro-Hungarian administration Vifhich one sees in every 
Serbian child a person guilty of high treason and a bomb- 
thrower. On- the other hand it is an outcome of that crimi- 
nal disregard of human life v/hich is peculiar to soldiers, 
and especially to conquerors. Merely Lieutenant Vj'iedmann, 
whose name has been mentioned before;, has the loss of sev- 
eral thousand human lives, at least, on his conscience. 
This official v;ill cause a Serb to be interned and sii'uply 
because the latter has failed to reply immediately to his 
question or because he has ;-aresumed to exhibit fear during 
his cross examination. This is sufficient for him to do a 
man to death i:ith all his fa'mily. In short, the whole method 
of the Austrian Administration is directed by the inexorable 
purpose of exterminating the last remnants of the Serbian 
POPula"Gion. 

ViTe protest emphatically against this criminal policy 
of Austria-Hungary. We demand that an end be put to these 
massacres of thousands of guiltless Serbian citizens.' We 
appeal to the entire civilised i/orld, to raise its voice 
against these unliuard-of crimes and to demand of the Ai.istro- 
Hungarian Government that our countrymen be set at liberty 
and sent back to their homes. If this liberation is not 
brought about very speedily indeed, before the wi/.ter oets 
in \."ith its rigours, all these! people a.re doomed to die 
within the next fevj monxhs. 



B. THE REGION OCCUPIED BY BULGARIA . 

Before the beginning to depict the situc^tion in the Bul- 
garian part of Serbia, v/e feel bound to drav; attention to 
one very important fact which ought to gratify all Socialists 
in general and Balkan Socialists in particular, namely, that 
one ought to draw a sharp .distinction between the ruling 
classes of Bulgaria and the Bulgarian people . One of the 
Signatories of this Memorandum has had the opportunity dur- 
ing the earlier months of the occupation of acquiring per- 
sonal knowledge of both administrations, the Bulgarian and 
the Austro-Hungarian. The Bulgarian common soldier, i.e. 



»■ 

the Bulgarian people under arms has everyv\fhere, wherever 
he has- come in contact with it, produced a good iuipression 
upon all the Serbian population. During the early dc^ys of 
the invasion, whan every soldier possessed, so to So-y, povj- 
er of life and death over the vanquished population, when 
h'is discretionary powers were unlimited and his responsi- 
bility ali-iost nil, while there was as yet no judicial order 
in those, regions, conditions virere far better in the ter- 
ritory conjured by the Bulgarian army. There v;as far u:ore 
liberty u,nd order than later on when the Government of oc- 
cupation hcod established itself there and ''official" order 
was introduced by the ruling classes. During this first 
period cases of murder, outrage and looting were unknovirn 
and none ..io-de a pcstiiue of ill-using the popuiatio::. . The 
3ituatio.n in the ea,3tern ^jaro of Serbia (which xvas occu- 
pied by the Bulgers), was at that time better ctnd less in- 
tolerable than that in the IVest which was occupied by the 
Germans and Austrians* The Bulgarian com...on soldier felt 
sympathetic towards the Serbs to ivhom he was attracted by 
the kinship of race which unites them, and he fully apprec- 
iated the horrible tragedy of our position. It often hap- 
pened that these sons of the Bulgarian people wept in our 
presence over the ruin of Serbia and were profoundly unhappy 
■CO see Bulgaria and Serbia dragged once more for the third 
tiuie, into a fratricidal war. Some of them even prophesied 
S, dark and -diaastrous future for Bulgaria for heaving con- 
sented to foment discord betvjeen the Bdkan peoples. It 
would be fcLlse to pretend th^t none but Socialists spoke in' 
this, way because among the BulgariaJi soldiers who expressed 
such opinions, there v;ere both ignorant peasants c^nd humble 
townspeople devoid of c*,ll politicc*.l education. It is only 
natural, moreover, thc*,t this u,ltogether instinctive senti- 
ment of solidarity should be so highly developed among the 
Balkan peoples, since they were all equally und^r the Turk- 
ish yoke, the slavery of v;hich they endured for centuries. 
More especially this sentiment is bound to persist between 
the Serbs and the Bulgars who are rec;,lly only one people, 
speaking different dialects of one and the same language. 

But a change came over the situation with the arrival 
of the masters of Sofia and the official policy dictated 
by the reactionary gang of brigands commanded by Radoslavoff . 
These people who have terrorized their own countrymen for 
decades, were little inclined to show consideration to the 
completely vanquished population of an occupied region. 
By an incredible system of outrage and a policy of method- 
ical extermination of the Serbs these criminals seek to 
prepare the ground for a Bulgarian hegemony in the Balkans 
and the establishment of a Bulgarian Eopire under the scep- 
ter of the Coburgs. The crimes committed against the Serbian 
people by these individuals are without number and our re- 
port would grow far too long, v^ere we to describe in detail 



-35- 

the situa-tion in the Serbiaxi territory occupied by Bulgaria, 
as we have done with regard to the territory governed by 
Austria- Hungary. All that has been said already about the 
Austro-Hunfyarv administration is equally true of the Bul- 
garian with this difference, that what has been .sa.id c.,bout 
Austria-Hungary raist be multiplied by itself, as it vjere. in 
order to be applicable to the Bulgarian administration . 

Bad as they are, courts at least exist in the Austro- 
Hungarian part. There is at least socie attecipt, froii time 
to tiiue, to clothe the despotism of the authorities in sorae 
sort of legal form. Soraetirnes, and were it only in appear- 
ance, public opinion is considered. One feels, and were it 
ever so slightly, restrained by vague forms of international 
law and morality. 

All this ceases completely as soon as you enter the do- 
main of the Bulgarian administration. Cross the iiorava river 
and you find yourself in Asia. The ruling classes of Bulgar- 
ia have proved the.t if they are not very good allies of the 
Turks they are at least their very apt pupils. The Bul- 
garian part of Serbia knows nothing of courts. Only quite 
recently has a court been established in Nish, v;hich has to 
do duty for the whole of the occupied territory of Serbia. 
It is the police, recruited from the very dregs of the pop- 
ulace, which is invested with unlimited powers. The personal 
liberty of every Serb citizen, no less than his life, de- 
pends wholly and solely upon the arbitrary pleasure of every 
Bulgarian police agent or gendarme. Beatings inflicted upon 
men, women, children and old men are even more comnion than 
V7ithin Austro-Hungarian territory. Old men of over 60 years 
of age - and that not only in the country but also in the 
towns - receive seventy-five blows with a stick for failing 
to salute a gendarme. A woman, who has a Bulgarian officer 
living in her house, and it goes without saying that he does 
not pay his landlady anythi.ag - is sentenced to twenty-five 
blows with a stick if the officer fancies that the tablecloth 
■.vhich x& laid in his room is not l3ss fine that that of the 
mistress of the house. A Serbian judge living in Chupria, 
a man of superior education, is compelled every day to saw 
v¥00d for the schoolmistresses who lodge gratis in his house 
in order to avoid being beaten. In these regions the Serbs 
are reduced to a veritable state of slavery such as that of . 
which they were subjected tvjo centuries ago under the Turks. 

In the Austro-Hungarian region there is at least a sem- 
blance of public order. As for the region occupied by the 
Bulgars, the most elementary guarantee for public safety is 
conspicuous by its absence. Al^vays under threat of the pen- 
alty of death, the Bulgarian authorities resort to exactions 
and contributions to such an extent that many Serbs have been 
obliged to fly to the other side of the Iiorava into the Aus- 
trian domain. Numerous bands of brigands, tolerated by the 



authorities, roam about the country plundering and murdering 
ae they go. Not infrequently these bandits are even secret- 
ly in league with the Bulgarian Officers, police agents and 
gendarmes. Such are the authorities which rule today in oc- 
cupied Serbia. This is hov they promote the happiness of 
-Macedonia and "liberated Eastern Serbia." 

The liraits of our report do not permit us to depict all 
these abuses in detail. For this reason we 'Till confine our- 
selves to drawing attention to several special features of 
the Bulgarian Government of Occupation vJhich are so unique 
in character that they are v;ithout parallel even in the Aus- 
t r o -Hungar i an do main . 

1. POLICY OF DENATIONALIZATION . 

The Austro -Hungarian Administration v;as by no means in- 
nocent of a certain tendency to modify the national culture 
of the Serbs, and of aspiring to "Croaticize" and "Magyarize" 
the school youth. It also attempted a clerical propaganda 
among the population, v/hich it desired to see imbued v/ith 
this spirit. But it achieved very poor results in this di- 
rection. The attempt to uake the Serbian population into a 
priest-ridden community was foredoomed to failure from the 
outset, because from a religious point of view, the Serbs 
are decidedly emancipated. The Church , as a political and 
social institution, possesses no importajice and no povjer 
with us. The clergy only exercise a very slight influence 
in politics. With us it is not the priests who drav7 the pop- 
ulace sifter them. On the contrary, it is the masses who 
exert their influence upon the clergy. Only such priests 
as have devoted themselves energetically to the cause of 
democracy, have succeeded in playing a leading part in our 
country. 

But all that has been done in this respect in the 
Austro-Hungarian domem, cannot be compared with the policy 
of denationalization as pursued by the Bulgars, The Bul- 
garian ruling classes deny on principle, the existence of 
the Serbian race throughout the whole of the territory they 
have conquered, although it is precisely this region which 
furnished our land with its greatest national heroes v;ho 
fought one hundred years ago in the Serbian Insurrection 
against the Turks, for Serbia's liberty and independence 
and died for it (Stevan Sindjelitch, from Nish District, ^^ 
and.Hajduk Veljko, from Negotin, etc.). But whoever would 
today in this occupied region declare himself a member of 
the Serb nation and insist upon this description, would im- 
mediately be arraigned for high treason and vrould have signed 
his own death-warrant. All Serbian writings, not only the 
books in the public libraries, but even those found in pri- 
vate dwellings, are being requisitioned and burnt. It is 
expressly forbidden, even in private intercourse ^ to write 
Serbian. 



Even the official papsr of txie allied domain, tna orga.n 
of the Austro-Hungarian Millitary Government, is severely 
prohibited throughout tae teri'itory occupied ly the Bul- 
gars, solely because it is published in Croatian, i.e. in 
Serbian, since "Croat" and "Serb" are only two different 
designations . for the same language and the sane people. 
It is likewise forbidden to bear Serbian naraes. One of 
the signatories of this .Piernoranduiu, Popovitch, could oily 
obtain a passpoxt.in Chupria (a tov^n .situated in Ihe region 
occupied by the Bulgars) under the name of "Popoff", i.e. 
as a Bulgar. Ne:7born infants are only given Bulgar bap- 
tismal names by the Bulgarian priests, so that the faith- 
ful will have to have thern re-named after the war. Only 
Bulgarian is taught In the primary schools and instruction 
is given solely by Bulgarian schoolmasters and mistresses. 
It is the same in ecclesiastical matters. All scholastic 
and ecclesiastical appointments and all offices in munici- 
pal administration are filled by Bulgars. Throughout the 
entire territory occupied by the Bulgars you will not find 
even one Serbian teacher or priest. All have been interned 
or even murdered except those who were compelled under the 
threat of death to, sign statements declaring that they are 
Bulgars and that the districts occupied by the Bulgars , are 
all Bulgarian lands . The other Serbian officials have been 
similarly dealt with, e::cepting only a rery few. In proof 
of this, we can only quote a few cases which impressed 
themselves particularly upon our memories. For readily 
comprenensible reasons v/e were unable to carry away sys- ■ 
tematically coiapiled mateiial and '.vritten evidence from 
our country. Here are the cases in question: 

(1) In the town of Vranja ti-iere were killed, Alcsentie 
lUshitch, priest and George Antitch, a former member of the 
Serbian .Parliament for tnat to^.'n. 

(2)0ne night, in November I9I3, the Arcn-priest Stevan 
Komnenovitch, the priests Michailo Igniatovitch, Yosif Pop- 
ovitch, Trandafil Kotsitch, Svetolik Antonievitch and the 
schoolmaster Marko Yokovitch were led away from the town 
of Leskovatz, with their hands pinioned. T^vo years passed 
without any of these men having given a sign of life to his 
family as is usually done by interned persons. But even- 
tually the peasants discovered, not far from the mouth of 
the Morava, several corpses, long-haired and with long 
beards, and showing signs of a violent death. (The ortho- 
dox priests of the East wear their hair and beards long in 
conformity ^;ith their order) . Tnere can be no doubt but 
that these were the bodies of these unfortunate men, \7ho 
had been foully done to death, 

(3) One night the Bulgarian authorities carried away 
the priest Onufrie Popovitch from Vlasotintsi. Some time 
afterwards the priest *s head, hidden under a heap of stones, 
was discovered by his family. 



-23- 

(^) In th3 village of Prekoptchelitza, the Bulgarian ' 
authorities began by looting tne Louse of a priest. Petal 
Tsvetkovitch, in order to rob hin of 5>000 dinars in gold, 
and in the end they murdered hiin. 

(5) On Noveir.ber S^h, I915, the Bulrarian authorities 
carried away 2^ Serbian priests from the town of Nish, in- 
cluding Luka Harianovitch, Yovan X. Popovitch, Yanlco Yanko- 
vitch, Dobrosav Markovitch and Koyitch, Not a sign of life 
from these men has ever reached trxeir families. 

(6) On November, 15 tlx, 1915* ^ second batch of priests 
was carried away from Nish, including Tsvetko Bogdanovitch, 
George Yankovitch and Milan Tsvetkovitch, It is hot known to 
this day what has become of them or rather, one knov/s it on- 
ly too well . 

(7) On November l^tn, 1915* the Bulgars deported from 
Nish a retired official, Vessa liilovanovitch, brotner of 
the late Minister for Foreign Affairs and Ser'oiy,n Prime 
Minister Dr. Milovan Milovanovi t en . His '.vife in despair 
finally approacned tne Bulgarian general Ratcho Petroff, 

a former personal friend of Dr. Milovanovitcn. General 
Petroff replied by sending ner the following official re- 
port: "The name of Vessa Milcvanovitch is not on the list 
of interned persons." 

(£i) Three priests, George Petrovitch, Sima Yovanovitch 
and Vladimir Rashitch were taken away from the tov;n of 
Zayetchax. They v;ere all three murdered on tne road to 
Vidin, and their bodies thrown into a ditch, vfhere they 
were devoured by the village dogs. The peasants found ■ . 
nothing left of the bodies, to bury them, but the bones, 

(9) The priest Pavle Yovanovitch, of the village of 
Veliko Yasikovo, was killed in the same manner. His v;ife 
subsequently found the body and had it biuried. 

(10) In March, I917 , four citizens of the town of 
Prokuplie and a priest Radivoye Vuchinitch, were killed 
in the open street by the Bulgars . 

(11) The priest Trayko, of the village of Turekovatz, 
was taken away and nothing has been neard of him since. 
His daughter who was accueed of being secretly in league 
with the Serbian comitadjis, was hanged. But before be- 
ing hanged, she was subjected to atrocious tortures by 
being flogged with a strand of barbed wire. Tne young 
girl's sister, wife of tne book-seller I. Obrenovitch of 
Leskovatz, was so cruelly beaten, tnat not only -were all 
hex teeth knocked out, but sne '.^ ent uad within two aays 

of the exxcution. Sne died snoxtly aftenvards. Their 
brother Vassa, a priest, was lilcev/ise taken away and uur- 



-29- 

dered together ivith his son, a Icia of l6. And all these 
victims were made in one fci.r.iily alone I 

2.. DEPORT ATIOF AND EXTERMIHATIOI? OF THE SERBIAN 

POPULATION . 

A very large number of Serbs whom, it was not possible 
to kill in Serbia have been deported to Asia Ilinor. ^.'"hole 
families from Eastern Serbia, women, children and old men 
were dragged by force from their homes and carried off to 
Asia Minor. And this is not intended for personal and in- 
dividual punishment. . It is a system, corresponding to a 
definite policy. All elements capable of offering any 
effective national resistance are first to be eliivdnated 
from that part of Serbia, and then tne rest of the popu- ' 
lation is to be Bulgarized. It goes v/ithout saying that 
the Bulgars have here set taeuselves an unrealizable aim, 
as from this point of view Eastern Serbia does not in the ■ 
least resemble Macedonia. Tne Slav population of Ilacedonia 
easily becomes either Serbian or Bulgarian. But as for 
Eastern Serbia, its national and ethical pnysiognomy is 
far too pronounced to perm.it of the country becoming de- 
nationalized. To try to Bulgarize that part of Serbia is 
as stupid as vjould be an attempt on the part of our Gov- 
erm.iant to Serbicize the tov/n of Sofia and the neighbor- 
ing country bordering on Serbia, 

These methods of denationalization, v.hich the Bulgars 
have copied from the Turks, can only result in the barbarous 
extermination of the harmdess and unprotected Serbian pop- 
ulation. Those countless Serbian families which have been 
deported to Asia Minor, are all doomed to perish. These 
deportations are in fact nothing but wholesale executions 
of Serbs, similar to the massacres of the Armenians or- 
ganized hy Sultan Abdul Hamid and the Young Turks. 

The revolt^ ^7hich broke out in March 1917 in Southern 
Serbia, more especially in Bulgarian territory, furnished 
the Bulgarian authorities with a splendid opportunity of 
displaying all the bestial cruelty by v/hich they are in- 
spired. It is difficult to say with certainty how it was 
possible for this r evolt to take place. But vi/hat is be- 
yond all doubt is that the Serbian civil population had 
practically no hand in it. The whole insurrection was 
planned and carried out by Serbian soldiers and comitadjis 
who had succedded in invading tne authorities. These con- 
spirators Were Very probably supported by Bulgarian and 
Austro-Hungarian deserters discontented with tiaeir fate. 
Nevertheless it was the innocent population vjhich wbs 
made to answer for the <vnole business. As the Serbian 
population had been disarmed by the authorities since the 
very beerinning of the- occupation, it was not in a condition 



to oppose tha insurgents or bo " esist them. It Wo-s willy- 
nilly compelled to provide tnaui wx'Ai food and Todging and 
to assist then in other v/ays . It goes v.'ithout saying that 
these acts were interpreted by th^ Bulgarian and the Austro- 
Hungarian authorities as a direct participation in the re- 
volt and that these unfortunate people were put to death 
for them. And when they sought to defend themselves "be- 
fore the Authorities, pleading that it had been physically 
impossible for them to resist the insurgents, they almost 
invariably received this incredibly cynical reply: "It was 
your duty to resits all demands on the part of these men 
and to let yourselves be killed, if need be. But since 
you jTTould not be killed by them, we are going to do it 
instead." 

About 20,000 Serbs v/ere killed under this pretext, of 
whom 3iOOO at the outside had tal:en part in the rebellion,. 
All the rest belon^^d to the innocent civil population. 
Neither women oor children v/ere spared. The wife of Gaya ' 
Nikolitch, a former member of Parliament, was shot after 
having been kept under arrest for a vireek witnout food or 
water, for having started a hospital in Lebane during the 
revolt for tne purpose of tending tiie victims of the in- 
surrection. Thousands of women and children 'were interned 
and others thrown into prison. Thirty-six villages near 
Leskovats were completely depopulated. Families without ' 
number were left without house or home. Almost tne entire 
male population of Nish, some ^,000 men was deported. One 
batch was sent by train to Pirot. The rest had to go on 

foot - and have never come back One police official - 

in the neighborhood of Nish boasted in company of having 
with his own hands alone killed about 3OO Serbs. "It was 
rather awkward at first", explained this meiitorious in- 
dividual, "it always took several slashes with the knife; 
but uhen I got into the way of it a bit, the job was quite 
easy. One thrust, and the man vi/as dead." It is very like- 
ly that in his zeal this Bulgar should have somev/hat ex- 
aggerated the facts. It is, however, none the less true 
that this incident is extremely characteristic of the 
mentality of the Bulgars in occupation. 

The cruelty of the Bulgarian authorities is so great 
and so revolting that it sometimes ends by rousing the indig- 
nation of the German soldiers garrisoned there, and the lat- 
ter even try to protect the Serbian civilians v7ho are be- 
ing maltreated by their allies. In mixed garrisons, rela- 
tions are very strained bet'.j'een Germans and Bulgars. Thus, 
e.g. the Town of Nish is divided by the main street into 
two sharply distinct zones. A German soldier cannot enter 
the Bulgarian zone except by special permission and only 
strictly on business. The same applies to the Bulgarian 
soldiers with regard to tne Gc^rman zone. 



-31- 

Truly the barbarity of the Bulgarian ruling powers 
exceeds all limits . 



CONCLUStOH - 

Our object in drawing up this rnemoranduKi v»as to reveal 
to the whole world vjhat crimcJS are being coraraitted by the 
Bulgarian and Austro-Hungarian ruling pov;ers against the 
Serbs, and to brand them as they deserve. But we do not 
think for one irionient of confounding the people with their 
rulers, ^e do not in the least v/ant to preach vengeance 
against the people of Bulgaria or against the peoples of 
the Austro-Hungarian Mornarchy. The common soldiers, 
whether Austro-Kungarian, Bulgarian or Gterman, have al- 
most shown sympathy and pity for the Serbian people in 
the horrible crisis it is undergoing at prssent. Peoples 
can never go on hating each other very deeply for any 
length of time. At the worst, they can only be misled 
and blinded for a moment by chauvinists a,nd the men in 
po-^er. During the earlier months of the occupation 
the German soldiers often shared their food with the Serb- 
ian vj-omen and children, even as vve saw Serbian women shar- 
ing their poor bread ration with the famished Austro- 
Hungarian soldiers who go from house to house ■ begging 
for t he food. This is the most touching display of the 
spontaneous solidarity of the great international class 
of those 'Who are oppressed and exploited, and deprived 
of their rights. Those who are not divided into invaded 
and invaders and vThose misery is equally great in both 
camps . 



OUR yjEIIORANDUIvI PURSUES THE FOLLOV'IHG AlliS : 

(1) V'e want to urge tnc Russo-Hollando Scandinavian 
Committee to develop an energetic activity in favor of pro- 
tecting the Serbian population .vhich nas hitherto been pro- 
tected by nobody and forgotten by all the world. In the 
first place v^e would call upon it tQ work upon the Soc- 
ialists of the Central Empires so that they may fight the 
policy of their Governments in occupied Serbia. 

(2) V.'a want especially to urge the Social Democrats 
of Austria-Hungary and Bulgaria to develop a more ener- 
getic activity both in and out of Parliament in order to 
help to save the last remnants of the Serbian population 
in the occupied regions. Their first duty should be to 
demand immediately from their Governments that all intern- 
ed Serbs be sent back to their homes. They must demand 



-32- 

this release not only for the interned oivilia.ns but also 
for the prisoners of war vmo nave on the whole, with very- 
few exceptions been separated from their families ever siixe 
the first Balkan ^ar, for- five years, in fact. There is 
really no military necessity for keeping these poor people 
in camps. They have all been disarmed and even on their 
return to Serbia they would still find themselves in terri- 
tory occupied by Austro-Hungarians and Bulgars, and under 
the unlimited power of those in occupation. 

(3) We want to draw the attention, of the civilized 
world to the terrible distress which prevail^ w-t this mo- 
ment in Serbia, so that speedy assistance bota in money 
and in food, may be forthcoming for tnis people that nas 
been left so far to its fate. Except for the two visits 
referred to, one from the AaeriCc-n Mission a.nd one from 
the Swiss, who came last year to distribute o, little food 
and clotning ar.iong tne population of Biitiade, Serbia has 
so far received notning from Europe, o-nd especially from 
our Allies, e:^cept verbal encourai3ei.»ent . 

{H-) Y\e want the Serbian Gove"xn;.ient, as well as the 
other Entente Governments to display greater interest in 
the Serbian population which is really not in a state, 
under present conditions to endure ^ unaided, the last 
phase of the war. 

(5) And we desire to show by this Memorandum that 
th6 vital need of the Serbian people is not a prolongation 
of the war, but the speedy conclusion of peace . Tnis is 
the only condition under which the final ruin of the Serb- 
ian people can be prevented, and the proletariats of the 
whole world succeed in placing their respective Govern- 
ments in the dock for the crimes which, as the last Con- 
gress of the Social Democrat Party in Vienna so truly 
expressed it, are not only acts of tyranny against the 
conquered peoples but also an offense against the peoples 
in the names of whom they have been committed. 



Stockholm, November, 1917 . 

For the Serbian Social Democracy, 

DUSHAN POPOVITCH, T. KATZLEROVITCH, 

Secretary of tne Party. Member of the Serbian 

Parliament . 



-53- 

GERIfiAN ATROCITIES IN SERBIA. 
A cynical avowal by a German \?rlter. 
(Translated from "Die Schaubuehne" January 4, 1917.) 



"Die Schaubuehne" a monthly political, 
artistic and economic review, published in 
Germany, printed in its number of January 
4, 1917, above the signature of Oskar I'ilaurus 
Fontana, a German writer and a reserve offi- 
cer .in the German Army, who accompanied the 
German troops to Serbia, the following ac- 
count of that military expedition. It re- 
quires no comment. ^^ 

"On the field of battle, military condemnations are pro- 
nounced in very summary fashion. There is almost no prelim- 
inary investigation, neither prosecutor nor defender are 
present. The prisoners face their judges alone and await the 
verdict, which can only bg liberty or death . There is no 
penal servitude, no confinement in chains, the sentence is 
pronounced in the open air and by a judge who usually com- 
mands a regiment. A shell may, in an hour's time, transform 
him into a mass of crushed flesh and bones, so the fate of 
the accused rran is of no importance whatever in this lost 
corner of territory, where the houses seem to sleep, sur- 
rounded by haystacks which look as if they had existed for 
centuries. Ho one utters a word for or against him. In two 
minutes the accused is forgotten, be he still in life and 
smiling, or lying stretched on the ground, his limbs stiff 
in death. He is trampled upon and crushed like some trouble- 
some insect. It does not last long, his fate interests no one 
His mother, his children, his father, his brothers, his 
peasant-farm, all that is gone, before one has time to think 
of it, even before the condemned man realizes i% himself. 

"One morning, I savf a young peasant; a captain was push- 
ing him gently before him as if he were merely going with him 
to requisition a haystack. In this scene there was, however, 
something which gripjped one. There was a look in this young 
man's eyes, such as I have never seen and such as m.ade m.e ask 
'What is it all about?' The captain and the young peasant 
disappeared. A few seconds later I heard rifle fire. I made 
inquiries and was told 'a young comitadjis, who was captured 
here during a surprise attack, has just been shot'. It was 
the young man I had just seen and then I understood what the 
indescribable look in his eyes was; it was death I had read 
there . 

"Some days later, during a march, we came to a house 
which was on fire. It was a signal. Shrapnel rained on us. 



-.^4- 



The soldiers put o^at the_iire, ana orougnt e.long three v/ori-^n 
ana an old iLan, when they had founa near the firo. The-y are 
acc-j-sea of having set the house on firs. They reply 'No.' 
They are ordered to confess. They reply: 'We did nothing. 
It is our house which is burning; the others set it on fire'.- 
They are thea asked: 'How many Serbian troops passed here?' 
They replj: 'We do not know': The major says 'Shoot them'. 

"The tX0'Q)ps halt. We look on, breathless, at the dran.a; 
We are so young to ma,ke war. No one tells these women in 
their own native tongue what is going to bo .done to them. 
But they have understood, they lower their eyes like an 
animal that awaits the fatal stroke. They do not protest. A 
momentary shudder passes over thisir bodies. Tney can not be- 
lievo it, they do not understand, their glances right and 
left seek salvation, some miracl;^. They march slowly with 
dragging feet. Before their condemnation they had looked 
fixedly at some of us , a mute regard v.ithout tears, so pierc- 
ing, that we are forced to low^sr our eyes. Then v;e hear the 
crackling of the riflv^s. 

"Half an hour later soldi^^rs returning from a reconnais- 
sance brought in an old peasant and his eon, a j'-outh of 
seventeen. They had fired once, somewhere, on the Austrians, 
at Iciast they are accused of h„ving aon^.; so. Thcjy reply with 
a haughty air: 'No. ' And they persist in their denial. They 
are asked: 'What do you know of the Serbs? How many have 
passed this v;ay?' They reply: 'We know nothing, we have seen 
no one'. The major orders: 'Shoot them I' , 

"The father, who had been stanaing ^ith lowered head, on 
hearing the order, turns his eyes toward his son, who is on 
the left. The son makes the sa,me movement towards the 
father. Their eyes meet and they take farewell of one an- 
other; a tear for a moment glistens on the pupils whicn are 
dilated till they seem to fill their whols eyes. The look of 
the son becomes more energetic: 'I can not die', he cries,'! 
am only seventeen years old. I have fift^r years to live, I 
will flee, I will flee'. The father prays, begs and implores 
and again regaras his son, 'Let them be shot'. 

"Who will commana the firing paity? Who will do the 
shooting? There is a long silence. Then someone remembers a 
volunteer who had declared he would ].ike to kill traitors 
with his own hands. I know him very well. He has his pockets 
full of love letters which he reads to his comrades, and an- 
other packet of them in his knapsack. He goes off with two 
soldiers to carry out his mission. The son walks with a 
swinging step but the old father drags his feet. Tiiey decend 
a slope and enter a cornfield. They 'await the firing party. 
Heavens, how long the time seems; A soft-hearted lieutenant 
who is in mourning for his mother, twists his hands nervously. 



do- 



taps the trunk of a tree and piclzs u-o mecnanically the dried 
leaves lying on the ground. A volley, then a second. I still 
seem to see the wandering glance of the old father. Later I 
learned that the young n'.an had tried xo flee. The escort 
caught up with him, hoxTever, and he again surrendered. The eld 
man could not stand on his feet. They v:ere forced to shoot him 
lying down, 

"Some months later, t-7o prisoners ivere brought in suspect- 
ed of being ' comitadjis' . Both are old men. One is a reserve 
soldier. He wears, it is true, the costume of a peasant but 
his military cap, of curious shape, of violent color, shor/s he 
is a soldier. It may have been that he too, an hour ago fired 
on us. But he is a soldier, a prisoner of war. Kis expression- 
less eyes glance from one person to another, happy and confi- 
dent. He is saved. But the second is probably a brigand. He 
implores, he takes oath v-olubly,but he has a look of cunning and 
just as if "it were not his head that is at stake he bargains for 
it as if it r, ere something he hac to sell, 

"I would have liked to have cal]. ed out to him 'your head is 
at stake' . He became confused in his statements, more and more 
obstinate, he irritates everybody and in the end he is sentenced 
to be hanged. He remains before us in his rage, without a coat, 
clutching his blanket, the symbol of life in these countries, 
for in his mountains one may freeze to death in the night with- 
out it. He remains v.ith his sly peasant's face, an old visage 
which resembles a bird's beak; he listens to the sound of words 
he does not understand, reading their meaning on the lips, in 
the eyes and on the hands of those addressing him. A shudder 
passes over his body, and v^ith a gesture that reveals every- 
thing he throws, no, he drops., his blanket, his sole fortune, 
become suddenly a useless incumbrance. It is touching to see 
this single movement of a life accepting death. It is his 
death agony, the blanket lying on the rocks at his feet will 
never cover him again. 

"Where is the sergeant? Here he comes. The sergeant is a 
Vinnese, a ladies' hairdresser. He has already tried his hand 
at hanging people. He will be charged with this execution. The 
Serb has turned his back to us. He goes off with the man who 
will end his lifej he m.arches bent but with a resolute step, 
singing a long and melancholy Slav melody. He sings his own 
death song. He marches more and more proudly, drawing himself 
more and more erect at every step. 

"He is tv;o hundred yards from us, near a tree, but he 
still continues to sing. Everyone looks at him through their 
field glasses. As for me, I ourn my head away. I think, oh 
gian, oh rnanl I recall how the sergeant has often spoken to us 
at table of the women whose hair he had dressed, their negliges, 
blond hair, bla.ck hair, auburn curls - I see his hands in 
their soft, silken tresses, and the same hands putting a rope 
round a man's neck. It is finished. The field' glasses drop. 
The column at once resumes its march. I throw a glance at the • 
tree. The Serb, as if he were leaning against it7 is upright, 
stiff, his feet touch his blanket, lying in the stones, still 
ivarm, but lost, purposeless, useless." 



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